By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — For Bruins fans, when Bobby Orr speaks, you listen. A new suite at the Ames Boston Hotel is dedicated to the legendary Hall of Fame defenseman, and he was on hand to celebrate its opening on Tuesday.
Speaking to NESN’s Michaela Vernava, Orr was asked about the Bruins’ wunderkind defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who looked like a veteran blue liner in the Bruins’ playoff series against the Senators. Orr confirmed what just about everyone else thought they were seeing in the 19-year-old: the kid is an impressive young player.
“I was impressed with Charlie right out of the chute,” Orr said. “He didn’t look like a player that was just playing his first game in the NHL. But Charlie, we look after Charlie, he’s one of our kids that we look after. He’s a wonderful young man, great family and he knows he’s going to work this summer.
“He doesn’t think he has it made, he knows how tough it’s going to be next season because he has to repeat and Charlie will be ready.”
It’s great to hear these words from a Bruins icon and the greatest defenseman to ever lace up a pair of stakes. He didn’t have to be so effusive with his praise, but he was anyway. Everyone knows how nice of a guy Orr is in real life and he obviously wasn’t going to bash the kid, but his words are nonetheless striking.
Perhaps the best thing Orr said is that McAvoy isn’t going to rest on his laurels as he enters his first full season in the NHL. McAvoy certainly has the talent, but if he has the work ethic to match, he has a chance to be special.
Nobody will ever approach Orr again, but is McAvoy the Bruins’ next No. 1 defenseman? Orr himself sure seems to think so.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.